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Messages - bobskolnick

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1
Hello All,

My computer in the garage that was dedicated to running my Mach 3 software for my CNC router died.  I am not sure of the cause; probably too much dust.

Anyway, I need to replace it with a new computer and I was thinking of getting a really nice Dell Laptop, the Dell Precision M6300.  This will hopefully support my CAD, CAM and Mach 3 software.  I was thinking of connecting the controller hardware/software through a docking station with a port replicator.  This way, when I am done machining I can just pop my computer off the docking station and bring it indoors.  Before I make the big leap and purchase all this expensive computer hardware, I wanted to check and see if this is compatible with Mach 3?

My question is: are there any problems using the Mach 3 Software with the parallel port of a docking station?  And, does it matter whether I purchase it with the Windows XP or the Windows Vista Operating System?

Thank you.

Regards,
Bob


2
Just to wrap things up, I pulled the daughter board and inserted the opto.  I also had to swap the common ground to common 5V on the drivers which was a small hassle.  The problem was solved!!!!

I still can't believe that there isn't disclaimer about this limitation.  I mean Gecko must know people use their drivers for CNC routers and I can't be the first customer that had this problem; so why not step up and say something?

Well thanks again.

Regards,
Bob

3
Well I contacted sales at gecko and they basically said the same thing you suggested.  That is, pull the daughter board and insert the opto, which they offered to send me for free.

When I get this done I will come back to the post and let you know if it solves the problem.  I hope so!

Thanks again and your directions are great, thanks for the help.

Regards,
Bob

4
Thank you very much for the info.  I have spent the last several months and several hundreds of dollars (new cables, new couplings, etc.) trying to fix this problem.  You may have saved me from pulling my hair out and several more dollars and hours of troubleshooting.

I wish this was disclosed up front!  It is not a big deal so long as you know about it.

I ordered the parts from digikey but I would still like to exchange them for the G320 just in case any new bugs are discovered I know I am working off a known design configuaration rather than having modified it myself.  I am very conservative when it comes to tracking design changes.  I have been burnt before:-)

Last question.  How do you know which way to plug in the opto or does it matter?

Thanks again for the help.  I REALLY appreciate it.

Regards,
Bob

5
Cybertek, Wow, how were you able to pinpoint it to the mulitplier board?  The funny thing is I don't even need the multiplier, I got it because at the time I thought it was a good feature that would provide some flexibility to my design. 

I can't even begin to tell you how many different tests I have done to try and find the problem.

Does the mfg of G340 post these design bugs anywhere?  Do you think they would be willing to swap the hardware if this is a design flaw?

Anyway I had some specific questions about your post

"You can By Pass the Multiplier board by removing it and putting a opto in its place
I Don't remember the PN3 but there is one the mx board for reference
it is soldered in though."

What is a:
- opto
- PN3
- mx

How do you remove the multiplier board?
Are there any rework instructions posted anywhere?
Rather than making changes to the driver hardware would it be easier to purchase the G320?

Thank you.

Regards,
Bob

6
Thanks Brian, I will try that next.  Any other troubleshooting suggestions?

7
Hello,

I posted a little while back on the Lazy Cam Forum that I am having problems with my Z-Axis drifting.  I thought the problem was mechanical but it wasn’t.  I have an old oscilloscope I am using to look at the signals but without a test plan I am just looking at pretty signals without knowing what to look for.  Does anybody have any suggestions?

Hardware & Software Specs:
Mach 3: Version R2.0.024
LazyCam: 2.00.032 Standard Edition

Computer: 2.53 GHz, 512 MB RAM
Drivers: Gecko G340 DC Servo
Motors: Brush DC Motor with US Digital Encoder
Machine: Homemade 3 axis Gantry CNC Router

Here is a copy of the Lazy Cam posting:

I have been having some problems with my Z axis.  I use LazyCam to import a JPEG and convert it to G-Code.  I load the code into the Mach 3 Controller.  About half way through the cutting process I notice that my cutter is no longer in the material.  It looks like the cutter has been slowly ramping in the positive Z direction.  If I look at the Z axis during the engraving process it is moving up and down the way I would expect, but it must be slowly incrementing itself in the positive (upward) direction.  However if I look at the Z axis DRO it is indicating a negative value which would seem to indicate that the cutter should be in the material.  Am I missing a setting? I am confused.  Any suggestions?

I am using the following software versions:
Mach 3: Version R2.0.024
LazyCam: 2.00.032 Standard Edition

Thanks.


Also here is a copy of the first  few lines of the G-Code

N45  G1 X5.4960  Z-0.0750  F60.00
N50  Y0.0160  Z-0.0671 
N55  Y0.0240  Z-0.0703 
N60  Y0.0320  Z-0.0662 
N65  Y0.0400  Z-0.0680 
N70  Y0.0480  Z-0.0703 
N75  Y0.0560  Z-0.0677 
N80  Y0.0640  Z-0.0653 
N85  Y0.0720  Z-0.0677 
N90  Y0.0800   
N95  Y0.0880  Z-0.0686 
N100  Y0.0960  Z-0.0668 
N105  Y0.1040  Z-0.0674 
N110  Y0.1120  Z-0.0653 
N115  Y0.1200  Z-0.0677 
N120  Y0.1280  Z-0.0653 
N125  Y0.1360  Z-0.0645 
N130  Y0.1440  Z-0.0688 
N135  Y0.1520  Z-0.0697 
N140  Y0.1600  Z-0.0671 
N145  Y0.1680  Z-0.0656 
N150  Y0.1760   
N155  Y0.1840  Z-0.0665 
N160  Y0.1920  Z-0.0677


Thank you.

Regards,
Bob

8
LazyCam (Beta) / Re: Z Axis problem
« on: March 12, 2007, 03:28:20 PM »
I am in the process of building a 3 axis gantry type cnc router.  The motor drivers are Gecko 340 and I am using them with DC Brush type motors.  All three axes use acme leadscrews and circular rails with plain sleeve bearings; although I think I am having problems with stiction and will probably change over to ball bushings.  The spindle I am using is a Rotozip or a Porter Cable 690 Router.

I don’t think it is skipping steps because the error checker on the servo drivers don’t let me operate unless the feedback from the encoder is within some allowable error.

I checked the tool, spindle and the hardware and it all appears to be tightened down.  I measured some positions and made some tool marks to see if anything is slipping but it does not appear to be.

After giving it some more thought I think the problem might be the shaft couplings.  I am using jaw type couplings so it easy to take the motors on and off, but these type couplings have backlash in them.  Since the Z axis is moving up and down with such a high frequency I think the backlash error is adding up slowly and therefore giving me a tool offset error.  I am going to try and switch to a rigid coupling or a beam type coupling.

Any thoughts?

Thanks again.

Regards,
Bob

9
LazyCam (Beta) / Z Axis problem
« on: March 11, 2007, 10:25:54 PM »
I have been having some problems with my Z axis.  I use LazyCam to import a JPEG and convert it to G-Code.  I load the code into the Mach 3 Controller.  About half way through the cutting process I notice that my cutter is no longer in the material.  It looks like the cutter has been slowly ramping in the positive Z direction.  If I look at the Z axis during the engraving process it is moving up and down the way I would expect, but it must be slowly incrementing itself in the positive (upward) direction.  However if I look at the Z axis DRO it is indicating a negative value which would seem to indicate that the cutter should be in the material.  Am I missing a setting? I am confused.  Any suggestions?

I am using the following software versions:
Mach 3: Version R2.0.024
LazyCam: 2.00.032 Standard Edition

Thanks.

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